Clashes between Yemen's army and Houthi rebels have left dozens of people dead in a rebel stronghold in the country's northeast.

Military sources told Al Jazeera that at least eight soldiers were killed in Tuesday's fighting in Amran city.

Local officials said as many as 30 rebels were also killed in the fighting, north of the capital Sanaa.

Dozens of other combatants were reported wounded in the gunfight that erupted on the western outskirts of the city, medics at Amran hospital told the AFP news agency.

A military source said clashes broke out after rebels attacked an army position in the area.

The rebels complain that Yemen would be divided into rich and poor regions under a federalisation plan agreed in February following national talks that were part of a political transition.

Tensions remain high in Amran where Houthis have been trying to enforce their presence through armed parades and protests against the military.

The Houthis have fought the central government in Sanaa for years, complaining of marginalisation under former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was ousted in 2012 following a year of protests.

In February, they seized areas of Amran province in fighting with tribes that left more than 150 people dead.

The Yemeni government is also grappling with an insurgency by southern separatists claiming secession for the regions of the formerly independent south.

It is also fighting a fierce war against al-Qaeda in southern and eastern areas.

Source: AFP